The Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) continues its campaign spending to promote Anaheim council candidates aligned the with Tait-Moreno majority.
Using the California Taxpayers Protection Committee as a vehicle, the powerful government union reported funding a negative mailer attacking Mitch Caldwell, the civic activist, businessman and former Planning Commissioner running in District 3 against left-wing Councilman Jose F. Moreno, a Tait ally. The mailer also promotes Robert Nelson, a pro-Tait Republican. Caldwell is the greater threat to Moreno’s re-election; the OCEA’s intent is to push anti-Moreno votes from Caldwell to Nelson, to the relative benefit of Moreno.
OCEA – via the aforementioned committee – has already paid for a prior mailer in support of Nelson.
The OCEA is also paying to add mayoral candidate Cynthia Ward to the United Taxpayers of Orange County (the slate controlled by Team Tait consultant John R. Lewis) and a pro-Ward mail piece.
In December 2017, Ward told the Voice of OC “she has become pro-union over the years.” That same month, she wrote on her Facebook page that conservatives should be more supportive of unions like the militantly leftist UNITE-HERE Local 11.
How effective will OCEA’s intervention be? The big-spending public employee union has a poor track record in Anaheim. OCEA spent more than $600,000 in support of John Leos’ failed council campaigns in 2010 and 2012, and the union’s independent expenditure track record in other races is fairly abysmal. OCEA and other government unions no longer benefit from an ongoing river of union dues to automatically replenish their campaign warchests, so we’ll see if OCEA will spend its members’ money on political campaigns as freely as it has in the past.